Director General's Report to Council for October 2023
by Cindy Finn, Director General, LBPSB
After a glorious and warm September, Fall has finally arrived! October has been a busy and exciting month. Students and staff have settled into their school routines and new learning opportunities abound. Many schools have resumed activities that enhance the learning experiences our students enjoy, some of which had to be lessened or put on hold in the past few years such as school trips and extra curricular activities. It is terrific that so many rich opportunities are again available to our students. Many of our schools and centres document these events on social media, and I invite the public to scroll through their social media pages and learn about all the impressive activities taking place throughout our community.
I wish to offer words of welcome to our newest commissioner, Linda Dalterio. It is wonderful to have Ms. Dalterio with us around the Council table as she brings a wealth of experience in her role as parent, having served on Parents Committee for the last several years. I look forward to our continued work together.
Earlier this month, Interim Report Cards were issued for all elementary and secondary students. These report cards provide qualitative feedback from teachers as to how students are doing in their learning during the first six weeks of the school year. Student progress is tracked all year long; the first official report card of the year for term 1 will be issued in just a few weeks’ time. A reminder to all parents and guardians that all of these report cards and school messages are found in the Mozaik parent portal.
Another hallmark of October is High School Open House night. Each of our high schools hosts an evening where prospective students and families can visit the school, ask questions about the school’s programs, and meet with energetic students and staff. Lakeside Academy kicked these off on October 5th and the open house circuit wrapped up just last week with events being held at St. Thomas, Macdonald, and Westwood. The tremendous sense of school pride is felt in every corner of a school – we are very proud of the educational services and personal development opportunities offered in all of our secondary schools. I extend my gratitude to the administration, staff and students who put in much time and energy into organizing and hosting these events.
Every year, the staff and administration working in the anglophone adult education and vocational training network come together for valuable professional development. This year, I am proud to say that the Lester B. Pearson School Board served as the host board for this 2-day professional learning opportunity. The theme of the gathering was Let’s get loud – hearing the voices of equity, diversity, dignity, and inclusivity. The keynote speakers as well as workshop presenters focused on ways to enhance continuing education opportunities throughout Quebec by focusing on various EDDI-related themes. I wish to thank Maggie Soldano, Director of Continuing Education and our Lester B. Pearson team for organizing such rich and meaningful professional development for educators across the province.
As we move into November, we know that the pace picks up considerably, the weather turns colder, and new challenges emerge on the horizon. Globally and locally, we know that these are stressful times. Around the world there are countless daily reminders that times are hard and that people are suffering. Locally, we know we are facing labour action that will affect a variety of public services, including education. The upcoming strike action is not easy for anyone. We respect that various employee groups have the right to strike, and we all share a common goal of strengthening public education. We wish to see a swift and equitable resolution to these negotiations.
Our children and youth are always watching how we conduct ourselves, and it is incumbent on us to set the tone for how we resolve differences and disputes. Communication – authentic listening and honest sharing – is how we can work our way through those difficult moments. I have every confidence that our community can withstand these times of pain and stress by supporting one another with kindness and compassion.
Thank you, merci.